A majority of Catalans support the amnesty, but doubt its effects

Just like those bitter medicines that the patient reluctantly takes in order to be permanently cured, the Amnesty law continues to stumble over the objections of a part of public opinion.

Oliver Thansan
Oliver Thansan
24 March 2024 Sunday 11:08
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A majority of Catalans support the amnesty, but doubt its effects

Just like those bitter medicines that the patient reluctantly takes in order to be permanently cured, the Amnesty law continues to stumble over the objections of a part of public opinion. The Ipsos poll for La Vanguardia reveals that the measure of grace agreed by the PSOE, ERC and Junts has majority support in Catalonia, but divides Catalans, who are wary of its impact on relations with the rest of Spain. The best proof of this division is summarized in the fact that 54% of those consulted support the law, but more than 40% reject it.

The division in Catalonia reaches such a point that it touches the electoral base of the main formation that has made possible its processing in Congress: the Socialist Party. At one extreme, more than 80% of pro-independence or communal voters clearly support the relevance of the amnesty. But in the other, almost 100% of the voters who voted for the PP, Ciutadans or Vox in 2021 flatly reject it.

In the middle, there appear the socialist voters, divided in almost two halves, although with a certain advantage of the opponents of the grace measure. Against 43% who support the amnesty, 52% reject it. There are other exceptions to the rejection of the law, but they are more anecdotal than significant - especially in the pro-independence world - and they probably respond to very different reasons.

For example, 10% of ERC voters in 2021 disagree with the grace measure, and a similar percentage of Junts voters think the same. Among the voters of the communes, the rejection rate is close to 20%. Even in minority areas - such as the more than 40,000 animalism voters - the rejection of the amnesty rises above 82%.

The reasons for the limited support for a law that aims to close the wounds that were opened in the fall of 2017 are reflected in the fears that generate its possible effects. In fact, there is not even a broad consensus on the salutary impact that the measure could have on coexistence in Catalonia. 51% of those consulted believe that the law will improve coexistence between Catalans, but 44% think otherwise.

According to voting records, 56% of socialist voters, 70% of those from Esquerra or Junts and 80% of commoners are convinced that the amnesty will improve coexistence. On the other hand, only 8% of PP or Vox supporters admit that the law can improve coexistence, while more than 90% of them deny this ability.

At the same time, more than half of Catalans express a serious fear that the clemency measure will worsen the relationship between Catalonia and the rest of Spain. 54% have this fear, compared to 42% who rule it out. PSC voters most accurately reflect this dilemma, with percentages practically identical to the average.

However, this fear even reaches a percentage above 40% among the pro-independence electorate (with 46% in the specific case of Junts voters). And at the same time, and as if it were a self-fulfilling prophecy, this negative view of the impact of the law on the rest of Spain is around 80% among voters of the PP, Vox or Ciutadans.

The skepticism about the eventual remedial effects of the grace measure is seen in the fact that 40% of those consulted by Ipsos say that the law "will not be of any use". This skepticism falls below 30% among the pro-independence electorate, although it rises again slightly among left-wing voters (37% among socialists and 33% among commoners) and increases among right-wing voters (above 60%). It should be noted, however, that a third of PP voters admit the usefulness of the measure. And the same goes for 56% of all Catalans.

The positive note should be given by the fact that 53% of those polled (and the same rate among PSC voters) think that the amnesty will strengthen democracy. And almost 80% of secessionist voters believe so. However, 42% of Catalans and nearly 100% of the conservative electorate think otherwise.

Finally, the survey asks for independence as a priority for the Government that will go to the polls on May 12. And here, 72% think it shouldn't be, compared to only 27% who think it is. The rejection of a restart of the process is almost unanimous among voters opposed to secession. And even close to 60% among ERC voters. Despite this, around 70% of the followers of Junts or the CUP insist on reopening the territorial conflict.